I hate to contradict a sitting U.S. president, but this needs to be said…

I hate to contradict a sitting U.S. president, but it’s vital at this time that you, our readers, are informed.

I know we have many a tweet going out about our military being “locked and loaded”, but the facts paint a very stark picture. The sad thing is that this isn’t classified information but rather open source.

As reported by the Military Times, “Less than half of the bombers President Donald Trump would rely upon to be “locked and loaded” against North Korea could launch today if needed, according to the latest Air Force figures available. That’s not a surprise to the bomb squadrons who have seen firsthand the combined effects of aircraft age, the demand of 15 years of air war operations and reduced budgets. But the numbers can be stark.

Of the nation’s 75 conventional and nuclear B-52s, only about 33 are ready to fly at any given time, according to Air Force statistics. Of the 62 conventional B-1s, only about 25 are ready. With the 20 nuclear B-2 stealth bombers, the number drops further. Seven or eight bombers are available, according to the Air Force.  On a nominal basis you don’t have more than single digits of B-2s available to do anything,” said retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Dave Deptula, currently the dean of the Mitchell Institute of Aerospace. If anything good comes out of the North Korea crisis,” it should be a wake-up call, he said. It’s not just the nation’s bomber force,” that is so stretched, Deptula said. “It’s the military writ large. The U.S. Air Force is the smallest and least ready it’s ever been in history – that should get people’s attention.” 

Despite the reduced numbers, the bombers can still meet the president’s call if needed, said Col. Robert Lepper, chief of the combat aircraft division at Air Force Global Strike Command. All three of our bomber fleets are capable of meeting their missions – they’ve always dealt with reduced bombers,” Lepper said. “Specifically with the B-2 fleet – we make decisions every day how to best utilize the aircraft … and meet the requirements that are there for us in that given day.”

We shared the truth here about our military readiness many times. We’ve let you know we’re witnessing our US Air Force at its most dire situation since we created the modern Air Force out of the Army Air Corps. Now, to be truly fair, this is yet another example of what President Trump was left…he inherited.

It’s one thing to inherit a foreign policy debacle, such as it is with the Obama policy of strategic patience. But it’s another thing to be hampered in having a full military deterrent option to back up a strengthened foreign policy. As Carl von Clausewitz stated, “war is a continuation of policy by another means.” However, we’ve strayed so far away from the means Ronald Reagan gave us with his military mantra of “peace through strength.”

And it’s not just the airframes that are hurting, and the maintenance schedules and availability of spare parts; it’s also the maintenance crews who are being driven into the ground seeking to keep these platforms flying. As well, we’re losing our stable of qualified pilots who are the ones bringing these means of our national military element of power to bear.

This is why, if there’s one real disagreement I have with President Trump, it’s attempting to do policy by 140 characters. This is why you should show just a tad more discipline and less impulsive behavior when arising and issuing social media communications.

I don’t want to see our president in an embarrassing situation as this article from the Military Times provides. This is why we need the full complement of civilian positions in our Pentagon that enable us to begin the restoration of our military capability and capacity, for which this year’s defense budget fell short.

Now, I know there are those detractors who will chime that we spend way too much on defense. Look at this way: have you ever been caught in a torrential downpour without an umbrella just because you decided to dismiss the weather forecast of a “possibility” of showers? I’ve always been one to submit to the belief of “better to have and not need, than to need and not have.” Trust me, I can tell you of a few times when I saw fellas who decided not to pack certain gear because they thought it wasn’t necessary, regardless of it being on the packing list for the deployment. A very deadly example was the Battle of Mogadishu.

When it comes to military preparations and readiness, you don’t prepare for what you want to happen…or as you see the world, that was the Barack Obama way. You also don’t develop a military based on the amount of dollars you’re willing to give to it. You develop a national military strategy not based on an artificially imposed budget number, but rather on the threat…and not just in the near term but 10-20 years out. We’ve failed to do so here in America, failing to comprehend that the enemy has a vote and you must plan for the most dangerous course of action of your enemy, not what meets a certain political agenda or ideology.

A capable National Security Advisor would be laying out for the president, region by region, the true threats to the United States and our allies. With that strategic laydown, then you can articulate what is required in each region for engagement and deterrence.

We’ve been playing that very insidious game of “whack a mole” with a shell game of deploying our force, stretched thin, all over the globe with little maintenance downtime for equipment and personnel. And now we’re seeing the severe ramifications of such absurd policy over the past eight years.

We cannot continue with the delusional policy that our military can be the bill payer for social welfare policies and programs — only a confused mind doesn’t realize we “provide” for the common defense, not “provide” for the general welfare. Perhaps someone should inform ol’ Uncle Bernie and his socialist sidekick from Massachusetts who believe that everything, especially healthcare, is a right to be given. When folks are standing in line awaiting their healthcare appointments, I’m quite sure they’re going to show concern when we cannot protect them from imminent threats and danger.

I’m not in the National Security Council, but I do question what they’re doing. We don’t have an articulated strategy. And we have a military not at its ready best. Then again, we’re doing the Kabuki dance over those very real and pressing matters for our military, like integration of those suffering from a mental condition called gender dysphoria.

Hmm, a gender reassignment surgery and hormonal treatments cost between $30,000 to $35,000 per individual. I just have to ask, what would those same taxpayer dollars mean for our U.S. Air Force bomber fleet?

[Learn more about Allen West’s vision for this nation in his book Guardian of the Republic: An American Ronin’s Journey to Faith, Family and Freedom]

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